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Yamanaka Sets Course Record, 207 Sub-66 at National University Half Marathon Championships (updated)

by Brett Larner

19-year-old Nittai University second-year Hideto Yamanaka lived up to his superb 2014 Hakone Ekiden First Stage win today in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park, taking nearly five minutes off his half marathon best to win the National University Half Marathon Championships in a course record 1:02:09.  Despite cold temperatures and on-and-off rain, Yamanaka led aggressively from the start before getting away in the final kilometers to win by more than twenty seconds over Waseda University's Daiki Taguchi and Koki Ido and Komazawa University's Yoshihiro Nishizawa and Shota Baba.

The momentum of Yamanaka and the others in the front pack pulled the entire field along, all of the top ten going sub-63, nine of them in PB times.  For the first time in history more than 200 men cleared 66 minutes in a single half marathon, a new world record which confirmed the upward trend in Japanese university men's performances that has only increased since Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics.  All told well over 500 men ran under 1:10, surpassing even November's Ageo City Half Marathon in high-end depth.

Update: Earlier reports of 200 breaking 1:06:00 were based on university division results. General division results were published on Mar. 8, with three additional men in that category bringing the total number sub-1:06:00 to 203.  An update to the university division results on Mar. 10 gave a grand total of 207.

Fewer collegiates lined up at the weekend's other big half, the 65th running of the Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon in Kumamoto, to which Kenyan Johana Maina (Kenya) returned from a 1:29:55 debut for 30 km there two weeks ago to win by more than a minute in 1:03:07.  Keisuke Sago (Takushoku Univ.) was the top university runner, 5th in 1:04:39, with Mao Kuroda (Team Wacoal) winning the women's 10 km in 33:20 by a second over high schooler Yuri Nozoe (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) and Masashi Sakamoto (Kakusho H.S.) claiming the high school boys' 10 km title in 30:09 by two seconds over Yuki Koga (Omuta H.S.).

17th National University Men's Half Marathon Championships
Tachikawa, Tokyo, 3/2/14
click here for complete results

1. Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 1:02:09 - CR, PB
2. Daiki Taguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:30 - PB
3. Koki Ido (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:33 - PB
4. Yoshihiro Nishizawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:33 - PB
5. Shota Baba (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:37 - PB
6. Yuki Matsumura (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:02:46
7. Ryo Shirayoshi (Tokai Univ.) - 1:02:49 - PB
8. Takahiro Yagihara (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:02:49 - PB
9. Masahito Miura (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:52 - PB
10. Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:57 - PB
11. Yusuke Nishiyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:02
12. Toshiyuki Yanagi (Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:04 - PB
13. Shoya Okuno (Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:05 - PB
14. Shinichiro Nakamura (Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:07 - PB
15. Yoshitaka Ogawa (Meiji Univ.) - 1:03:11 - PB
50. Renya Sugiyama (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:04:09 - PB
100. Ryuta Seki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 1:04:47
150. Takahiro Ogawa (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:29
200. Eishi Nakahira (Kanagawa Univ.) - 1:05:55
300. Shuya Kaizaki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 1:06:48
400. Wataru Saito (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:08:02
500. Ryogo Wada (Asia Univ.) - 1:09:21
546. Yuta Okuyama (Saitama Univ.) - 1:09:59

1. Haruna Horikawa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 1:15:53

65th Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon
Tamana, Kumamoto 3/2/14
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:07
2. Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Kenya/Team Omokawa Lumber) - 1:04:11
3. Kaoru Hirosue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:29
4. Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 1:04:36
5. Keisuke Sago (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:04:39

Women's 10 km
1. Mao Kuroda (Team Wacoal) - 33:20
2. Yuri Nozoe (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 33:21
3. Yuki Nakamura (Team Miyazaki Ginko) - 33:29
4. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 33:31
5. Haruka Tobimatsu (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 33:38

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Masashi Sakamoto (Kakusho H.S.) - 30:09
2. Yuki Koga (Omuta H.S.) - 30:11
3. Kohei Okamoto (Kyushu Kokusai Prep H.S.) - 30:15

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Zach T said…
Love how there are no comments. I wouldn't even have placed in the top 500. Ran d1 ncca. Trained seriously for 10 years. Only barely broke 1:10 for a half I suck at distance running. And you probably do too. Japan rocks.

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